Coco Gauff will do battle against the likes of Serena Williams and Bianca Andreescu on the first week of the new WTA Tour season after signing up to play in the Auckland Open.

The 15-year-old sensation is limited in the number of tournaments she can play before turning 16 but has opted to play the WTA International event in New Zealand.

Gauff won her first senior title at the Linz Open last month and will use the Auckland tournament, which begins on January 6, as part of her preparation for the Australian Open.

US Open finalists Andreescu and Williams are also scheduled to be part of the field, meaning Gauff could meet either during the tournament, along with two-time defending champion Julia Goerges.

Gauff's success this year included a famous run to the fourth round of Wimbledon, where she became the youngest player in the Open era to come through the qualifying rounds to reach the main draw. Her exploits helped to secure a year-end ranking of 68.

She told the tournament website: "I can’t wait to start my season in Auckland. 2019 was such an incredible year and I achieved so many of the goals that I had set for myself. Wimbledon was obviously a highlight as was capturing my first WTA title.

"So many players talk about Auckland. I have not been before so this will be cool to experience."

Anna Blinkova overcame a fatigued Coco Gauff as the American teenager was unable to back up her Linz triumph at the Luxembourg Open.

Gauff claimed the first WTA title of her fledgling career in Austria last week but was clinically dispatched by Russian Blinkova 6-4 6-0 on Wednesday.

The beaten 15-year-old American complained of feeling tired as she was swept aside in the second set and found Blinkova in uncompromising mood.

World number 66 Blinkova made only five unforced errors and hit 18 winners in her first-round victory.

Defending champion Julia Goerges saw off 2015 winner Misaki Doi in a gruelling three-set battle, the second seed coming back to triumph 5-7 6-1 6-3 to reach round two.

Wednesday brought a more straightforward outing for third seed Elena Rybakina, who breezed past Denisa Allertova 6-2 6-1 to earn a quarter-final place.

Jelena Ostapenko beat Caty McNally in straight sets and will meet top seed Elise Mertens in the last-16, while there were second-round wins for Margarita Gasparyan and Laura Siegemund.

At the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, Belinda Bencic pulled off a stunning comeback to beat Polona Hercog 1-6 6-3 6-4 and book a quarter-final place.

As well as being blown away in the opening set, number three seed Bencic found herself 3-0 down in the decider before shifting through the gears to win six of the last seven games.

Bencic will next tackle Kirsten Flipkens, who bested fifth seed Dayana Yastremska 6-3 3-6 6-3.

Ekaterina Alexandrova had too much for fellow Russian Anna Kalinskaya, thrashing her compatriot 6-1 6-1 before their home crowd. Karolina Muchova, who stormed past fourth seed Donna Vekic 6-4 6-2, will be Alexandrova's last-eight opponent.

Coco Gauff's first WTA Tour title at the Linz Open means the 15-year-old has the prize money to buy a Halloween costume she hopes will be the best in the sport.

The outstanding teenager, who starred at Wimbledon and the US Open, became the youngest champion on the main tour in 15 years as she defeated Jelena Ostapenko on Sunday.

The victory capped a sensational week for Gauff, who also claimed a landmark first win against a top-10 player when she downed world number eight Kiki Bertens in the quarter-finals.

Despite a fast-moving week, which started with the American entering the tournament as a lucky loser, Gauff has already made plans for her reported winnings of $43,000.

"I know Halloween is coming up and it's one of my favourite times of year," she said. "So I guess I'll splurge a little bit on my costume and make sure it's right.

"[The costume is] a secret, because I know last year they had a WTA contest for the best costumes, and I came in third. This year my goal is to come in first!"

Gauff drew huge crowds as she made grand slam breakthroughs at the All England Club and then at Flushing Meadows, yet she revealed she had not expected to be in contention for titles at the start of the season.

"I'm still overwhelmed and shocked," she said. "I guess it's crazy to say it's my first WTA title.

"This was definitely not on the calendar at the beginning of the year, because I didn't think I'd have a chance to get in. And now I'm the champion, so it's crazy."

Gauff is the first player this season to win on the tour as a lucky loser and added: "It's just literally insane that I got in as a lucky loser and now I'm the champion.

"My dad told me when I got in, before the first main-draw match, he said, 'You can't lose twice in the same tournament!'

"I'm sure he never thought it would come this far, to being the champion, but I guess he was right."

Coco Gauff claimed the first WTA Tour title of her career with a thrilling 6-3 1-6 6-2 victory over Jelena Ostapenko in the final of the Linz Open.

The 15-year-old American sensation was the youngest WTA finalist since Nicole Vaidisova won the Tashkent Open in 2004 and showed plenty of the form that saw her spring to grand slam prominence this year to take the first set.

Ostapenko, the 2017 French Open champion, rallied impressively both to level matters and delay a victory that marks the latest staging post in Gauff's rapid rise.

Gauff, who stunned world number eight Kiki Bertens in the quarter-finals, was forced to save a pair of break points in the first game but immediately got stuck in to the Ostapenko serve, opening up a 3-0 lead.

Playing her first final of 2019, Ostapenko settled well enough thereafter but Gauff looked imperious, shrugging off a double fault at the start of the ninth game to take the set.

Ostapenko finally got a look at her opponent's serve in set two as they exchanged breaks early on, before the weight of what she seemed set to accomplish appeared to hinder Gauff.

It meant the second went 6-1 to the world number 72 but the pedigree Gauff displayed en route to round four at Wimbledon and round three in the US Open came emphatically to the fore in the decider.

After dropping serve for 2-0, Ostapenko got involved in an animated exchange with the umpire, repeatedly asking the official, "Can you see the ball?"

At the next change of ends, newly appointed coach Marion Bartoli sought to settle her charge but Gauff was on a roll, and Ostapenko was forced to gamely repel a pair of match points at 5-0.

Those near misses knocked the teenager, who plopped a forehand into the net to be broken to love in the next game.

She regrouped superbly, however, as both players tore into each other with all-or-nothing groundstrokes. One of those from Ostapenko was shown to be long on a challenge and Gauff let out a scream of delight, embracing a landmark triumph.

Coco Gauff says her run to a first WTA Tour final at the age of 15 shows she is ready to play at a top level.

Gauff needed a lucky loser spot to take her place in the main draw of the Linz Open after failing to qualify but could claim the title on Sunday following a 6-4 6-4 defeat of Andrea Petkovic.

The American, who reached the fourth round of Wimbledon and third round at the US Open this year, will face Jelena Ostapenko after the 2017 French Open champion booked her place in the final by beating Ekaterina Alexandrova.

Gauff saved nine of the 10 break points she faced in a superb defensive display, with the teenager thrilled by her continued rise.

"This is actually the first time in my life, including juniors, that I got into something as a lucky loser, and now I'm in the final," said Gauff. "I guess every little thing counts. You never know what it could lead to.

"Last year, around this time, I was playing a juniors Grade 1 [tournament], and I lost in the quarter-finals there, in Mexico. It's crazy how much a year can make a difference in improvement.

"I thought this was one of the highest-level matches I played, even though it was straight sets. No game was really easy to win, I felt, for either player.

"Andrea was playing an amazing match, and she was hitting a lot of winners and put a lot of pressure on me to put the ball deep. I guess I was fighting for every point, because you never know what happens.

"Maybe after these [earlier] matches, they boosted my confidence a lot. It kind of showed I can play at this top level, and hang with these top players."

Gauff, who enjoyed her first career top-10 win against Kiki Bertens in the quarter-finals in Austria, will move into the top 100 of the WTA rankings when they are updated on Monday.

Teenage sensation Coco Gauff will face Jelena Ostapenko in her first WTA Tour singles final after beating Andrea Petkovic in straight sets at the Linz Open. 

Gauff needed a lucky loser spot to take her place in the main draw after failing to qualify but could claim the title on Sunday following a 6-4 6-4 defeat of Petkovic. 

The 15-year-old American saved nine of 10 break points she faced and rallied from 2-0 down to win the first set before claiming the only break of the second to oust German Petkovic on Saturday. 

Gauff showed great defence and mixed up her game impressively, making Petkovic pay for a double fault which gave the teenager a 3-2 advantage in the second set. 

The Florida native, set to move into the top 100 in the rankings on Monday, won 71 per cent of points on her second serve and broke new ground when she put away a textbook volley. 

Ostapenko saved three match points in a battling 1-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 defeat of Ekaterina Alexandrova. 

The 2017 French Open champion showed her fighting spirit to reach a first singles final of the year after fending off a match point in the second set and another two in the decider. 

Coco Gauff reached her first WTA Tour semi-final on Friday with a stunning win over world number eight Kiki Bertens at the Linz Open.

The 15-year-old, in the main draw as a lucky loser after initially failing to qualify, produced another demonstration of her enormous potential by claiming her first victory against a top-10 player.

American Gauff, who reached the fourth round at Wimbledon as the tournament's youngest Open era qualifier and then the third round at the US Open, saw off Dutch player Bertens 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 in an hour and 37 minutes.

She becomes the WTA Tour's youngest semi-finalist since 2004, when Nicole Vaidisova won in Tashkent.

The American, who will break into the top 100 as a result of her exploits in Austria, will face Andrea Petkovic on Saturday for a place in the final.

Petkovic beat Slovakian Viktoria Kuzmova 6-4 6-1, the German reaching her first semi-final of 2019.

The other last-four clash will see Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova take on Latvian Jelena Ostapenko.

Alexandrova dispatched Kristina Mladenovic 6-2 6-4 and former French Open champion Ostapenko overcame Elena Rybakina 7-5 6-1.

Kiki Bertens overcame an early stumble to power through to the quarter-finals of the Linz Open on Thursday.

Top seed Bertens looked to be in trouble in the last 16 in Austria when she lost the first set to Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck, who won the Tashkent Open a fortnight ago.

But Dutch world number eight Bertens, who had been broken in the opening game of the match, did not drop serve again and forced a 4-6 6-3 6-3 victory.

Lucky loser Coco Gauff, playing a WTA Tour quarter-final for the first time, will be her opponent on Friday, having also reached the doubles semi-finals alongside fellow American Caty McNally on Thursday.

Fifteen-year-old Gauff secured her singles last-eight place on Wednesday when defeating Kateryna Kozlova.

Fourth seed Donna Vekic could not join Bertens in the next round, as the Croatian claimed the opening set but went down 3-6 6-1 6-2 to French opponent Kristina Mladenovic.

This was the pair's third meeting in 2019 and, having lost the first two, Mladenovic finally took flight.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova was another on the wrong end of an upset as the ninth-seeded Russian similarly let an early lead slip, beaten 2-6 6-2 6-4 by Slovakian Viktoria Kuzmova.

Russia's Ekaterina Alexandrova showed greater spirit after being pegged back, seeing off German Laura Siegemund in three, while French player Alize Cornet retired as she trailed Latvian Jelena Ostapenko in the second set.

Teenager Coco Gauff has been promoted to the Luxembourg Open main draw after Angelique Kerber and Maria Sharapova pulled out with injuries.

Kerber is suffering with a leg injury while Sharapova has a shoulder problem, depriving next week's WTA event of two of its biggest names.

But the news means Gauff enters the competition proper, without needing to qualify, along with regular doubles partner Caty McNally.

Gauff, just 15, burst onto the scene at Wimbledon as she reached the fourth round, before impressing again at the US Open, her home grand slam, by winning two matches.

In her first appearance since Flushing Meadows, playing as a lucky loser, Gauff has reached the quarter-finals of Linz Open and will break into the world's top 100 next week.

She plays top seed Kiki Bertens on Friday for a place in the last four.

Coco Gauff reached her first WTA Tour quarter-final when Kateryna Kozlova retired in the final set of their Linz Open contest on Wednesday and could face top seed Kiki Bertens in the last eight.

Gauff, a lucky loser following Maria Sakkari's withdrawal, was leading 4-6 6-4 2-0 when her Ukrainian opponent was unable to continue due to a leg injury.

The 15-year-old American won four of the next five games from a break down at 3-2 in the second set with great fighting spirit and is set to move into the top 100 after her passage in the quarter-finals was secured.

Gauff is the youngest player to move into the last eight of a WTA event since Sesil Karatancheva back in 2005.

The teenage prodigy said: "It's been a goal of mine. In January of this year, I sent a message to my friend saying I wanted to finish Top 100, and at the time I was ranked, like, 800, so it was a far-fetched goal, but I'm glad that I was able to accomplish it.

"My other goal was to get in the main draw of two grand slams, and that happened, so I'm glad that I accomplished everything that I wanted this year."

Bertens, in contention to feature in the WTA Finals, saw off Misaki Doi 6-4 7-5 to set up a second-round meeting with Alison Van Uytvanck.

The world number eight broke twice in each set to stay in the hunt for a third title of the year as she bids to secure a place in the season-ending tournament in Shenzhen.

Andrea Petkovic won an all-German second-round match against fifth seed Julia Goerges 7-6 (7-2) 6-0, while Elena Rybakina denied Anna-Lena Friedsam a place in the quarter-finals.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Jelena Ostapenko and Ekaterina Alexandrova were first-round winners on day three.

Coco Gauff made the most of a second chance at the Linz Open, while Belinda Bencic suffered a surprise defeat on Tuesday.

Teenage sensation Gauff was defeated by Tamara Korpatsch in qualifying on Monday but entered the main draw as a lucky loser when sixth seed Maria Sakkari withdrew with a right wrist injury.

The American 15-year-old, playing her first WTA Tour event since losing to Naomi Osaka at the US Open, defeated Stefanie Voegele 6-3 7-6 (7-3) in two hours and two minutes to set up a meeting with Kateryna Kozlova in the second round.

Speaking about her last-minute entry into the main draw, Gauff told a news conference: "It was very surprising because I was supposed to do a press thing today. I had practiced earlier, went back to the hotel, and then got a phone call, and was back on court 40 minutes later.

"I didn't know too much about my opponent; I found out a little how she plays through word of mouth, but most of it was me improvising.

"This is my first WTA win indoors. I live in Florida, so we don't get a chance to play indoors that much, but I enjoy it."

Second seed Bencic lost in three sets to qualifier Anna-Lena Friedsam, but Donna Vekic – seeded fourth – cruised past Polona Hercog 6-1 6-1.

Barbora Strycova lost 6-4 6-4 to Alize Cornet, while Julia Goerges and Kristina Mladenovic were among the other victors.

Andrea Petkovic cruised into the second round of the Linz Open with a crushing defeat of Jil Teichmann and Coco Gauff failed to qualify on Monday.

Petkovic has twice reached the semi-finals of the tournament in Austria and moved into round two with a 6-1 6-1 thrashing of Teichmann.

The experienced German knocked Teichmann out in the first round of the China Open last week and took just 68 minutes to send the Swiss packing once again.

Teenage prodigy Gauff will not feature in the main draw after she was beaten 6-4 6-2 by Petkovic's compatriot Tamara Korpatsch in qualifying.

Viktoria Kuzmova eased to a 6-4 6-2 victory over Julia Grabher, while Anna Blinkova fell to a 6-1 6-7 (1-7) 7-6 (7-5) first-round defeat to Kateryna Kozlova on day one.

Competing at the scene of her traumatic maiden grand slam triumph in front of a crowd predictably and passionately backing a star American opponent, it would have been easy for Naomi Osaka to crumble in the third round of the US Open.

The defending champion and world number one had all the pressure on her shoulders in Saturday's blockbuster clash with 15-year-old Coco Gauff, who comparatively had nothing to lose after again capturing the sporting world's imagination with two thrilling wins.

Rather than wilting at the venue where she had been left in tears 12 months ago, Osaka rose to the occasion in stunning style, delivering a show of class on and off the court that should secure her place as a favourite in the hearts and minds of fans, as well as a frontrunner for the title.

From the start, Osaka played with confidence and ruthlessness, racing into a 3-0 lead. Rather than being overawed by the stage, she rose to it with the enthusiasm of a player with two major titles to her name.

Gauff threatened a comeback as the teenager found her footing, but she was never able to locate the consistency needed to restore parity against a player operating at Osaka's level.

After clinching the opening set, Osaka was relentless, refusing to let up as she condemned Gauff to a bagel in the second.

Osaka got 91 per cent of returns in play, converted six of her seven break points and hit 24 winners to Gauff's eight.

Pirouetting as she won one point to set up a break chance, Osaka operated with more freedom as Gauff faded and the gulf in experience and quality became more telling.

Yet nothing Osaka produced on the court could top what she did after the match, as she persuaded a tearful Gauff into staying behind to be interviewed alongside her in front of the packed crowd.

Both players ended up reduced to tears, but those shed will be remembered as part of one of the indelible moments of US Open history. A marked contrast to those Osaka wept last year as Serena Williams' row with umpire Carlos Ramos overshadowed what should have been the greatest night of the Japanese's career.

Gauff could not have been more appreciative of the gesture, and summed up Osaka's evening on and off the court perfectly.

"For me the definition of an athlete is someone who on the court treats you like your worst enemy but off the court can be your best friend," Gauff said. "I think that's what she did."

Discussion over Osaka's slightly withdrawn nature and lack of comfort in the spotlight has been a prominent feature of her rise to the top of the women's game.

Now the focus has been shifted to her capacity for empathy and her sportsmanship, though Osaka appeared to indicate she would still rather not be the subject of such attention.

Asked if the tennis world needs more "Naomi moments", Osaka replied: "I don't know what a Naomi moment is. Hopefully there won't be many of those. Yeah, whatever I do, I try to tell myself to just do it from the heart."

If she maintains the kind of form she demonstrated on Saturday, there is a strong chance the next Naomi moment will be her lifting the trophy.

Following her wonderful display of compassion for Gauff, the New York crowd that booed as she collected the trophy last year will surely this time be on her side should she prevail again.

Teenager Coco Gauff thanked "class act" Naomi Osaka for her support after the defending US Open champion saw off the young sensation at Flushing Meadows.

Osaka marched on into the fourth round in New York with a 6-3 6-0 victory over the 15-year-old Gauff, who rose to prominence with a remarkable fourth-round showing at Wimbledon.

A packed crowd witnessed the action at Arthur Ashe Stadium, as Gauff's run in her home grand slam was ended in the third round.

After eliminating arguably the star of the first week of the tournament, Osaka swayed an emotional Gauff into joining her for the post-match on-court interview.

World number one Osaka told reporters in a news conference that the decision was an instinctive one.

"I wanted her to have her head high, not walk off the court sad. I want her to be aware that she's accomplished so much and she's still so young," Osaka said.

The 21-year-old later tweeted a photo of herself and Gauff shaking hands, captioning the post: "Keep your head up, you’ve got so much to be proud of. Warrior."

Demonstrating the bond between the pair, Gauff replied with a tweet of her own.

"Thank you! You are a class act. I appreciate your support" Gauff posted, before further confirming her admiration for Osaka by labelling her as a role model.

Swiss player Belinda Bencic awaits Osaka in the last 16.

Coco Gauff felt world number one Naomi Osaka proved she is a true athlete with her conduct after their US Open encounter.

Defending champion Osaka needed only 65 minutes to see off 15-year-old Gauff 6-3 6-0 in Saturday's highly anticipated contest.

Osaka silenced a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd with a ruthless performance to progress to the last 16 at Flushing Meadows.

However, she had the crowd on their feet after the match, as she persuaded a tearful Gauff to stay on the court so they could conduct a post-match interview together.

The pair were each reduced to tears as they spoke in front of a packed stadium that rose to acclaim for two players sure to be superstars of women's tennis for a long time to come.

Gauff was effusive in her praise of Osaka afterwards, telling reporters: "I think she just proved that she's a true athlete.

"For me the definition of an athlete is someone who on the court treats you like your worst enemy but off the court can be your best friend. I think that's what she did tonight.

"I definitely was wanting to leave the court because I'm not the type of person who wants to cry in front of everyone. I didn't want to take that moment away from her, as well.

"She told me it's better than crying in the shower. She convinced me, like, multiple times to stay. I kept saying no. Finally I said, Okay, I'll do it. Because I didn't know what to do.

"I'm happy that she kind of convinced me to do it because, I mean, I'm not used to crying in front of everyone.

"But I think she really showed sportsmanship tonight. I mean, I wasn't expecting it. I'm glad that I was able to experience that moment. I'm glad the crowd was kind of helping me and her.

"She was crying, she won. I was crying. Everybody was crying. But I think it was a good moment for both of us.

"I'm glad that I was able to express that moment. I guess it shows that I'm human. I guess athletes in general just experience things, and we show emotion, good and bad.

"I think a lot of people see the more pumping up side of me, the more fiery side. I guess that side is good for other people to see.

"I'm glad I was able to experience that on the biggest stage. Maybe next time I'll have a different result. I really thank Naomi for that because it was a good moment for me."

Gauff expects the experience of a heavy defeat to be beneficial as she plots a route to reaching the same heights as two-time grand slam champion Osaka.

"I think I'll learn a lot from this match. She's the number one player in the world right now, so I know what I need to do to get to that level," Gauff added.

"She was really attacking the ball well. She hit a lot of winners today. I didn't hit as many as I can. I think that I can trust my strokes more.

"I think she trusts her strokes a lot, so that's why she hits winners. In order to hit a winner, you have to trust that you're going to do it. I think I can work on that more.

"Other than that, I mean, I think my first serve, I could get it in more today. I was having trouble holding serve. I think once I get past that hump, I'll start to improve a lot more."

Page 1 of 3
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.